What is new in the Freelance DCS 2016 release?

The new version comes with significant improvements in all areas: availability, scalability, usability, connectivity and security.


Freelance is ABB’s user-friendly, cost-effective and robust solution, ideal for all process industries, with the following benefits:

  • Easy to use: It is easy to install, learn, engineer, commission, back-up, maintain and expand.
  • Scalable: Projects can start as small as 25 I/Os and grow to as large as 25,000 I/Os
  • Reliable: It is a proven, award-winning and patented technology providing high reliability and availability.
  • Value for your money: the small footprint and ability to run on any PC results in savings in training, installation, engineering and commissioning.

ABB has just celebrated the 20th anniversary of Freelance and introduced the award-winning AC 900F controller. This is an excellent replacement of older Freelance controllers in the huge installed base, but also perfect for new projects. With this version, new innovations have been launched to even better fulfill your requirements.

More scalability

Two CPU variants for the AC 900F controller

  • The new lite version of the CPU – the Processor Module PM 901F – is made for smaller applications. It includes three Ethernet interfaces instead of four for the standard CPU, but it still supports redundancy for high availability. 

The new AC 900F Lite is optimized for smaller projects and is available at an attractive price.

AC 900F Interfaces

Overview of AC 900F Interfaces:

  • PM 902F (standard): four (4) built-in Ethernet ports supporting system bus redundancy, Modbus TCP/IP or 60870-5-104 telecontrol protocol 
  • PM 901F (lite): three (3) built-in Ethernet ports supporting system bus redundancy, Modbus TCP/IP or 60870-5-104 telecontrol protocol 
  • Two (2) serial ports supporting Modbus RTU/ASCII or IEC 60870-5-101 telecontrol protocol
  • Two slots for communication modules:
    • Profibus master modules providing integrated line redundancy
    • CAN bus modules for connection of Freelance Rack I/O
  • Direct connection of S700 I/O modules (up to 10)

Freelance Operations Lite

  • The new lite version of Freelance Operations, formerly known as DigiVis, also provides for enhanced scalability of the system. In contrast to the standard version of Freelance Operations, the lite version is very attractively priced. It offers unlimited number of standard displays and only limits the number of graphic displays to five. It is mainly suitable for smaller plants or the usage of Panel PCs in cabinet doors. What’s more, Freelance Operations is now optimized for wide screen displays.

Increased security and usability

Controller lock

  • The new AC 900F controller comes with a feature of locking the controller via the display. When locked, dedicated engineering changes, downloads or firmware updates are disabled, while typical operator access is still possible. 

AC 900F optional display

  • Learn how to increase security through controller lock, how to backup your application, and how easy it is to display process variables.

Improved connectivity and availability

New CAN bus module for AC 900F

  • A new CAN bus module is available for the AC 900F controller. This module supports connectivity to Freelance Rack I/Os and gives excellent support for plant upgrades and modernizations. With over 500,000 rack I/O channels installed over the past 20 years, this new evolution option enables Freelance owners to upgrade their older controllers while leaving the I/O system intact.

Control Network redundancy

  • From the very beginning, Freelance was designed to support redundancy. Also former versions already provided line redundancy in combination with controller redundancy. Now, redundant Control Network based on Ethernet is available for all engineering and operator stations and even non-redundant AC 900F controllers. This feature is fully integrated into Freelance Engineering and Operations.

Expanded connectivity protects your investments

Proven reliability

Freelance is proven in thousands installation globally since 20 years and fully compatible with older versions.

Would you like to try out the new version?

Learn more about efficient engineering in the interactive video workshop.

More information

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